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#1 bestselling game for the Kinect? Who gives a fudge muffin? “Kinect interprets all your moves”? Epic lie. Oh, sorry, I didn’t see you there. Hey guys it’s Sam, and I’m about to review one of my Christmas presents that I received. One that’ll definitely put some sweat on your brow, one that’ll definitely teach you the rules of sporting, and one that you can crumple to the floor in seas of laughter with. Indeed, it is Kinect Sports, a game as smashing as its spikes in volleyball.

I should've noted you that this game does an awfully good job of advertising.

One of the two Kinect games released exactly on the debuting date of its console (the other being the pack-in Kinect Adventures), Kinect Sports has a simple 3-million-unit selling plot: you engage in six sports: track & field (shown above in the hurdling quarter of the sport), bowling, boxing, ping pong (titled in-game as table tennis), soccer, and beach volleyball under the sun. The controls differ depending on the sport, like for instance you can swing your arm back and forward to bowl a ball, or you can constantly swipe your arm to return ping-pong shots. Displaying an impressive interface and a good sporting variety, not only is this game a blast, but it’s a hardcore exercise. Every time I play this game and feel my forehead, it’s sopping wet. At the very start of the game, you also get a chance to stay and warm up the crowd if you want. All the “best bits” or best moments of your sporting time will end up as a video compilation accessible for sharing online.

It’s nothing to worry about when you look over the E10+ rating of the game despite some pretty intense boxing, but it all breaks down in cartoony matters. If you can do the motion in real life, you can do it in the game. The controls are darn easy if not slightly unresponsive (and by slightly, I mean 35% of the time), and the way you can level up after winning a game is definitely something worth striving for, worth the time, achievements, and gamer points. If you’re not following me, I’ll review each and every sport.

This banana-suited bowler is definitely a reminder that this game is good to keep yourself healthy.

Select a ball: Move arm out to the left or right (depending on your dominant hand)

Bowl a ball: Swing your arm back, then forward

Bowling has been praised as arguably the sport you’ll keep coming back to the most. Taking place at Neon Lanes, you will go up against either a real or CPU opponent bowler for 10 tries in one game. Nonetheless, the bowler with the most points at the end of the game wins hands-down. Bowling is somewhat the funniest sport there is, since there are abilities to break a hole into the alley (which will actually give you an achievement), and even toss the ball into the crowd by accident if you’re not ready. If you want to add some extra spin into your bowl, swing your arm out further during your bowl.

This is one of my favorite sports of the game. Why? The controls actually manage to regularly register, and it’s a good split against fun, humor, and strangely-felt nostalgia. Was I the only one who felt nostalgic playing a couple rounds? It was as nostalgic as this sport’s final rating, a 9.2 out of 10.

This example of nutrition is so good, it's a bit scary. But I know I wouldn't like to be pitted up against a team as strong as that.

Serve ball: Throw the ball up, and use other hand to slam it into play

Spike: (Only possible during Jump indicator) Jump and slam ball

Defend: Use head, feet, or arms to block the ball

Ah, nothing like a piping hot session of NBA Jam-inspired beach volleyball under the sun. The game takes place at Waveside, where your avatar and teammate earn chances to be paparazzi magnets as well as your avatar getting the honor of picking up the volleyball. This is the sport with the most demerits, all blamed on the near-unresponsive controls. The second or third time around, this sport was impossible to complete, and I ended up losing about 2-7 (yes, 7 is the maximum before victory). I’m not saying the Rare-Microsoft team did a bad job of crafting the sport’s experience (although I deeply boo Rare for abandoning Nintendo and its plans), but all I’m saying is that the sport was a bit…well…off. There’s a lot of excitement in the sport with sweat streaming down your brow as you can finally admit that “the next point wins”, but the bits of nostalgia scattered in the sport like bacon on salad sets it up for a 8.3 score out of 10.

The look on that opponent's face ensures that he can catch that smash...or can he?

Serve ball: Similar to volleyball

Simple strike: Swing your arm from back to forward

Backhand strike: Swing your arm across yourself, and swipe it back

Pinging the pong has never been so entertaining in this game of table tennis. With simple, helpful controls, this game is an engaging, tense, and fun way to burn calories quick. The sport takes place at the Blade Center, where you walk into play with a screaming crowd supporting you, as you muster enough strength to shake hands with your opponent and warm up the crowd. There are two ways to fail in this sport: Miss a shot or shoot one off the table. Easy as that. The controls never bother to troll you by failing to respond, and the only times I got agitated were against my own reflexes. Just another tip: if you want to smash a hit off the table (hopefully), wait for the ball to trail white, wavy lines behind it. If your ball is in this state, then your next hit is ensured to be a smash. Similar to volleyball, you can also ace your opponent by scoring a point without the opponent even touching the ball. The maximum amount of points required for victory is 11, but when you know your pong-pinging, it’ll go by a lot quicker than it sounds. Nonetheless, ping-pong smashes itself into a 9.3 score out of 10.

Wow, this Daddy Longlegs can go past the 10-inch mark and it seems like his walk in the park!

Sprint: Run in place, with knees lifted

Throw discus/javelin: Swipe your arm

Jump hurdles: Jump in place (when hurdle becomes green)

Track and field may be the most sequenced and advertised of the sports, as well as one of the most unresponsive. You are pitted up against 7 CPU opponents, and there are four sequences: sprint, javelin, long jump, discus, and hurdles. What makes the game so challenging is yet again, its unresponsive controls. Your player might occasionally slow down on the track even when you’re lifting your knees as high as you can, and javelin and discus throws go a lot lower than what should be accepted. Set these “minor” issues aside, and track and field is nonetheless one of the most engaging sports of the roster. The nostalgia just kindles as soon as the FIFA-like announcers state a new record has aroused. Instant replays, possibly of “world” records, are the most entertaining of the entire bunch, featuring slow-mo shots of events while famed songs play in the background, such as the classic “Chariots of Fire”. Each sequence is simple and easy without much hassle (save for what I just pointed out above), and track & field long jumps its way into the 8-point distance with a 8.8 score out of 10.

Just knocking your opponent to the ground makes you feel like it's 2006 all over again.

Punch: Punch high or low

Block: Hold hands in front of face or on chest

The nostalgia will definitely feel near in a “friendly” match of boxing. Taking place at Tornado Gardens (I don’t get it), your avatar will be shown dressed in the traditional boxing gear, while the ref talks over the rules of a fair fight, and so on, and so forth. Boxing is arguably the most violent aspect of Kinect Sports alone, and it makes you feel as if you really are there with its 1st-person views. Upon getting hit, your vision will blur and the crowd will muffle, just like the real thing! This serving of Punch-Out!!-styled boxing will definitely have you on the edge of your seats even if you’re standing up! You can either knock down your opponent by depleting their health bar (which engages into the tense counting sequence), or automatically K.O. them for the win. My hits sometimes don’t register (then again, I was swinging my arm in an arc), but look past that, and your great boxing game question will be answered. To make a long story short, boxing slugs its way into a 8.6 score out of 10.

This is what a perfectly aimed goal will look like.

Block: Step into the indicated path of the passed ball

Pass: Kick in the direction of the arrow you want to shoot with, leading to the person you want to shoot to

Style shot: Head or kick the ball

Shoot: Give it a good kick!

Soccer, also known as football in the achievements as well as England (real football would go onto Season Two), is definitely the most educational of the six, taking place in Lotus Park. Teaching you teamwork, defense, and stylizing your shots, soccer may not be the genius of perfect controls (nuff said), but it’ll definitely leave a drop of knowledge on your brow. And maybe, some drops of sweat. Your avatar will start out catering to a snapping camera’s needs, before the field scatters and things go into business. The FIFA-like announcers of track & field arguably return in this sport, and if you’ve visited the world of FIFA alone, this nostalgia trip shouldn’t be much of a challenge. Successful goals will result in replays with the ball sometimes even shooting directly at the camera. And all of the success is tracked by a scoreboard, which gives you approximately 3 minutes to strain your stuff. I’ve said enough, so soccer makes the goal and scores an 8.2 out of 10 score.

………………………………………..

4 out of 5 – Educational value – This game will teach you the basis of all the sports it includes, and for soon-to-be athletes, you need all the education you can get.

3 out of 5 – Positive messages – The game’s only message is to compete in sports with friends for fun. Players get good exercise with each sport, and the game is great for kids, excluding the boxing.

2 out of 5 – Positive role models – The only in-game characters are your avatar and a bunch of CPUs, but the game itself is a role model to convince you to get up and active.

4 out of 5 – Ease of play – If you can do it in real life, you can do it in the game. Playing volleyball requires you to jump up and spike an imaginary ball, bowling has you toss a ball down an alley, and track & field has you run on the spot and jump to hop over hurdles. It’s very easy to pick up this game — but choosing an event might be a bit hard.

2 1/2 out of 5 – Violence – The most violent of the mix goes to the boxing, featuring a hardcore battle in a first-person perspective. You may feel a bit violent throwing punches in the air and beating up an invisible opponent, but the avatars are all predictably safe under their [head]gear. Upon a hit, your vision gets blurry and the sound of the crowd is muffled.

1 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – In-game female characters wear very skimpy volleyball outfits.

0 out of 5 - Language – This aspect is not featured.

5 out of 5 – Product Placement – Besides being one of the “buddying” games of the successful Kinect, the game has a lot of advertisement hidden in sports. Names include T-Mobile, Samsung, Xbox 360 (duh) and Xbox LIVE, Microsoft, among others. Plenty of famous songs play during in-sport replays, like Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” (no lie), Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl”, James Brown’s “I Feel Good”, Vangelis’s “Chariots of Fire”, and lots more.

0 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – This aspect is not featured in-game.

…………………………..

Fun: A (5 pts)

Style: A (5 pts)

Entertainment: A+ (5 pts)

Gameplay: B (3 pts)

Smarts: B (3 pts)

Play-Again Ratio: A (4 pts)

FINAL SCORE: 25 out of 30 (hot dog!), 4 stars out of 5, 87% out of 100%

CONSENSUS: What’s a good workout, a good game, a good laugh fest, and a good time with friends and family besides some issues? Kinect Sports, that’s what.

RENT, BUY, OR SKIP?: Buy it with all your power! But if you’ve had enough of some Kinect games’ tomfoolery (Adrenalin Misfits, Deca Sports Freedom, etc.) you may want to consider renting it and taking a good look at it.

PRICE: Kinect Sports sells for $44.99 pre-owned, and $49.99 new. One version at Amazon sells for a regular price of 49 dollars (with  a freaking 2% of the savings), but the game is used for $22, and almost $37 new.

……………………….

Well, that’s another wild winter break day for Sammwak! Keep on commenting, keep on rating, keep on liking (for all bloggers), and surely keep on subscribing! I bet by the peak of 2013, we’ll already have 100,000 hits if we can get almost 50,000 in under a year! But anyway, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta get back to my work so I can get Season Two a-rolling!



Your blogger, brother, and friend,

Samuel M.



Hey guys it’s Sam, and if there’s one thing I report myself doing, it’s to play video games. I review video games. I recommend video games. I rant over video games. I get a couple new video games all the time. And today, we’re taking it to the course of boxing gloves and rubber balls known as ABC’s Wipeout. The slapstick violent comedic competition was so famed, it not only got several KCA nominations, but it got a hand with Activision to make Wipeout: The Game in 2010 alongside the season 3 premiere, currently for the Wii, DS, and DSi. The game then got a following brother in summer 2011, now gracing the Kinect motion controls in Wipeout: In The Zone. And when you think it’s the end of the line, it’s just begun. Because just tomorrow, yet another Wipeout-licensed game is flopping into stores tomorrow…Wipeout 2.

Name: Wipeout 2/Wipeout II

Releasing: October 11, 2011

Announced: August 18, 2011

Publisher/Developer: Activision (Activision Blizzard?)/Endemol

Rating: E10+ for mild cartoon violence (and possibly an extra comic mischief, as of the DS version)

Sequel to: Wipeout: The Game, the first of the trio. Surprising, isn’t it?

Difference from original: The player will navigate the same ragdoll-esque contestant from In The Zone, but through environments of more snowy and icy obstacles. Looks like someone’s preparing for the winter!

Two contestants jump it out on the Bruiseball course.

I don’t get it. Why is it called Wipeout 2 if it’s the third game in the series? Why not Wipeout 3? The truth is that despite its Kinect compatibility (compatible, not required), it is the partner of the original Wipeout-licensed 2010 game. But its Kinect controls aren’t limited to just the Xbox…turns out it’s available for the PS3 (via Move compatibility), the Wii, the DS, and even the 3DS! The game claims to have more than fifty whopping obstacles up its sleeve. The game is cut into eight whole episodes, each half being a different season (summer or winter). Then those episodes are broken into sections. The first is a race against speed, the second is an endurance challenge of survival, and the third is yet another speed race. GameSpot already has their share of previews, and the game is to be crafted and distributed in yet the same hands from last time. Is it going to be the biggest? Perhaps. Is it going to be the best? At over half of the price of summer’s game, it just might be.

So bounce on over to game retailers near you and get Wipeout 2 for just the predictably-assumed price of $50! But then again, GameStop almost always assigns that price. Go figure. Anyway, this is Sam again from Sammwak, telling you to have a great week!

Good night and big balls,

Sam



Hey guys it’s Sam, and I feel really super good today (besides feeling sluggish about it being September aka school month). You know why? Because I checked my site stats, and last Saturday morning I had fifty views! Did you know that’s the same number of homes in a city of Nebraska? Do you know how good that makes me feel? Anyway I figured that it’s a Monday, and after an ignorant hiatus, I’ve decided to come back at you with an old Sammwak original: the top 10 Xbox 360 games! (See I published it!) To agree or disagree? That is the answer. From the fighting ring to the soccer field and everything in between, bring on the list!

10. Get ready to soil your plants in Plants vs Zombies.

It's like Left 4 Dead, but with plants.

for animated blood and cartoon violence.

One of last year’s most memorable games that hit the Xbox Live Arcade, PvZ took tower defensive games to the next level. If you’re not very “bright” (get it?), you won’t know the storyline: Your house is attacked by hordes of zombies looking for brains, and while you chill in your house, the only battlefield you have is your lawn. The soldiers? Plants.

HOW THIS GAME ROCKED: Beautiful graphics never go awry. Endless amount of opportunities, such as getting new plants (earned or bought as a Twiddydinky) or facing new zombies. Impressive mini games when you want to take a break from the adventure. Awesome versus mode.

HOW IT DIDN’T: You actually have to w-w-(if I say this, my lips will swell like salami)-work to earn things! Progress is unbelievably slow (unlike the iPhone version, the most fair edition sold). Take a white kid and dab two drops of ketchup on his neck and call him a vampire, that’s simply not my league of gaming.

9. Be the predator, but don’t be the prey in Mirror’s Edge.

Faith in mid-fight with a “Blue.”

  for blood, violence, and language.

One of 2008-2010′s most reflected action-adventure games (and my sister’s only played game), taking the phrase “freedom of movement” to a dangerously high level. You play as Faith, a 24-year old in a utopian city that makes a living as a runner, a master of parkour who carries communiques about the city. Faith discovers corruption at the city’s core, and she gets hunted down (at least, that’s what the back said). Along the way, you encounter the Pursuit Police (also skilled in parkour), former runner Jackknife, and even Ropeburn the bulky wrestler!

HOW THIS GAME ROCKED: The most beautiful graphics I’ve seen in an action-adventure game. The core controls are super easy, and you can string them together for even more combat skill. Reasonable voice acting for each character, and a real bang of an ending.

HOW IT DIDN’T: Freaking impossible, even on easy. The combat does sag a little, and the amount of trial and error is time-sucking, soul-sucking, and…well, frustrating.

8. Team up and throw down in Skate 3.

Who’s gonna break the most bones? Guess in your comment!

for crude humor, drug reference, mild violence, suggestive themes, and language.

The third and most recent installment in Electronic Art’s open-world skateboarding series Skate, this game flipped into retail stores May 2010. Since San Vanelona has put up a strict skate-free rule, we take to the streets of Port Carverton (home of the Sharks). But this city of not only the residence of Sharks, but stars. Stars in the skateboarding history, that is, from Danny Way to Rob Dydrek and everyone in between.

HOW THIS GAME ROCKED: The controls did churn out easy and quite impressive. The environments were breathtaking and so lifelike, and there are very worthy skaters to unlock, even if they’re skeletons of slabs of meat. Simply throwing yourself off buildings is instant fun.

HOW IT DIDN’T: The engine just couldn’t keep up with the visuals, so every now and then Skate 3 does glitch up (carrying the series’ old tradition). The droning format it undergoes simply melted away my entertainment. Challenges slowly got impossible.

FUN FACT: Did you know that the game before this installment was not Skate 2, but instead the spin-off Skate It? Since Thanksgiving 2008, this extreme sporting game has been getting air on the DS, the Wii, and the iPhone.

7. It’s a futuristic battle to the finish in Monday Night Combat.

An Iceman Assassin gives a juiced piggyback ride to a Hotshot Assault. Hey, am I next?

Juicing up the XBLA last summer as part of the Xbox Live Summer of Arcade, MNC has intelligent and heavy use of a Monday Night Football background, with a character-class based system with clones that fight for money. Speaking of money, there’s a Moneyball (a ball of money….) that must be defended on one team, while destroyed on the other. Classes, defense, money…yup, it’s pretty much tower defense.

HOW THIS GAME ROCKED: The visuals are also clean and striking, and the controls are actually awfully easy at the core. It makes you feel as if you’re in the arena, and I might be a thick-header for saying this, but it’s very lifelike. Bullseye has to be the best mascot in a 3-person shooter game.

HOW IT DIDN’T: And that’s pretty much it, save the fact that you’re literally blazing bullets every five seconds.

FUN FACT: Did you know that MNC is getting a free-to-play sequel sometime in late 2011 or early 2012 called Super MNC? It’s got new classes, bringing back the old ones, but gives out more of a strategical test.

6. Take the rallies and the ridges in Kinect Adventures.

Two adventurers rush through river rapids in "River Rush."

for…mild animated blood?

The first game for the Xbox 360′s Kinect, Kinect Adventures depicted an adventurous storyline with people looking for journeying. There are five mini-games in Free Play, let alone Adventure Mode: River Rush (see picture), Reflex Ridge, Space Pop, 20,000 Leaks, and Rallyball. Adventure on your own or have a cooperative or competitive time with friends.

HOW IT ROCKED: The events did have lots of range, and they were fun in their own ways. As long as the Kinect could track you, the controls did work good. Successful multiplayer, whether it’s co-op or competition.

HOW IT DIDN’T: The most annoying way of telling players that they can’t be tracked: A huge message pops up in the corner of the screen, and tells you to move backward or move forward or left, IT’S SO ANNOYING! Anyway, the game’s also really repetitive so it doesn’t have much interest for people to stay round for at least a handful of hours.

5. You’re the ninja Terminator, and you’re no conjurer of cheap tricks in Mini Ninjas.

The protagonist Hiro, attacks a massive "large one".

for crude humor and cartoon violence.

Welcome back to the world of Japanese adventure! In this big little action-adventure, flatlands are attacked with horrific weather as bad as earthquakes, and mysterious figures are seen caging animals. The truth is that the Evil Samurai Warlord banished 300 years ago had made an unholy return turning caged animals into mindless warriors in an attempt to take over the world! When the ninja master sends out armies of ninjas with no return, he turns to his final two, knowing that the fate of the world rests in their little hands.

HOW IT ROCKED: Beautiful art making a cohesive world of vibrancy. (sorry, too psychedelic?) Unlimited combat options, which make for some pretty fun fights, whether you need to possess a fox for a quick retreat, or a bear for a good old mauling.

HOW IT DIDN’T: Every flaw literally points their finger at the bad camera. Fighting does get tiresome towards the end of the game. And a not very impressive way to fight bosses, but an extremely hilarious one at most: pantsing them. (I’m not even pulling your chain!) So points for and against you.

4. Get to the dancefloor and get funky in Dance Central.

Miss Aubrey breaks it down mid-game.

The killer app of the Xbox 360′s Kinect (hands down), Dance Central is the second game for the Kinect (see no. 6 for the first) and actually sneaked exercises into what seems to be just having a good time. With a soundtrack with grooves as classic as “Funkytown”, to as current as Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”. There are ten avatars (counting ELIOT and the Pink Ninja), and t0 top it off, there’s even a ten-second freestyle!

HOW IT ROCKED: Invigorating visuals upon a wide complexity of dance, a helpful training mode. It’s hard to resist dancing with your friends. A party’s dream game.

HOW IT DIDN’T: Girlie moves that men can’t survive to perform. When routines are easy, they’re a little too easy; they’re super-duper-fragilisticexpialadocius-1-million-points easy. No character customization? Well, that stinks, because I was looking forward to dancing under my own creation. And at first glance, you’d think you reached hip-hop-happy land. So why is this game always defending the right to get funky?

3. For these ragdolls, it’s a rush in Activision’s Wipeout: In The Zone.

If old ladies really have to cross streets like this in the future....

for comic mischief and mild cartoon violence.

In 2008, we first received the hilarious show, Wipeout. Then we received Wipeout: The Game in 2010. And now, the Kinect evolution! Yessiree, this game totally supports Kinect gaming! And for once…this isn’t garbage! It’s actually fun for a change, even if you’re playing a little experience at Best Buy!

HOW IT ROCKED: Successful Kinect mechanics for multiplayer, and awesome mechanics of obstacles you’d actually see on the show. Good voice samples and entertaining visuals never grate up. A good game to get a simple handful of laughs out of.

HOW IT DIDN’T: Replays rub your misfortune in your unlucky face. Tasks to do before running a course are embarrassing, like striking poses or dancing. Kinect models do patch up, while it’s infrequent, but noticeable. Not really some achievements worth striving for.

2. Put the pedal to the metal with over twenty Sega characters in Sonic & Sega Racing.

Sonic zooms in the foreground with Tails hot on his track on the Whale Lagoon course.

for comic mischief, cartoon violence, and mild suggestive themes.

First revving into the market February 2010 nine days after Valentine’s Day (six after my birthday), Sonic & Sega Racing is the third and most recent installment in the Sega Superstars crossover series. With an endless amount of courses to unleash your inner all-star, it’s also a great game for friends who want competition, whether it’s racing or the mini-games’ varies from king of the hill to knockout!

HOW IT ROCKED: Very smooth controls with endless speed senses which fall into the beautiful visuals and great frame rates. Impressive course design with plenty of variety and range even when you have to drive in a circle three times. Even when they’re literal Sega mascots to ultimate D-listers, this game has a good mix range of racers. Ultimately successful multiplayer with endless fun.

HOW IT DIDN’T: No way to Grand Prix with a friend. Even with up to four players racing, the one signed in gets all the credit.

———————————

Okay, this is it. My most recommended game. Change your underwear. Man the floorboards. Take your vitamins. Because number one has arrived, and even critics and players alike agree with me all across the country….

A CPU Makoto attacks Dudley with a Hayate. Official X360 Magazine courtesy.

for alcohol reference, mild language, suggestive themes, and, of course, violence.

The best fighting game around for ages. Super Street Fighter IV brought everything back of what we needed. Bringing back “forgotten” characters while introducing newcomers, giving “that new touch” to that old game, man this game has it all. I can do the whole evening just in training mode. No wonder me and my brother made onebyonetv in its honor.

HOW IT ROCKED: Gorgeous models and arena designs. Ultimate success in rebalancing characters along with the robust gameplay. Excellent competitive multiplayer if imperfect. Video replay is the best way to share fights with friends in a new, evolved way. All together, definitely makes a better game than last year’s at 2 thirds of the price.

HOW IT DIDN’T: Only limited to a wee two-player multiplayer. You know what would’ve patched it up? Team battle. DUH! Online fighting does suffer if either fighter has slow connection. Video replay mode could be a tad easier to use.

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So that’s all, folks. A deep sorry for not being able to catch up these past weeks, so I forced myself to do this one. Thanks for always being a part of Sammwak, and if you blog here at WordPress, please like this post. And if you’re just a viewer, then please subscribe or leave a comment in that section!

- Sam

p.s. Do you know I’ve gotten up to sixty comments here on Sammwak? Good golly!



Hey guys, it’s Sam with another noob-pwnin’ good time on PWN SOME NOOBS! (Oh, you miss the stylization? It’s easier to do without.) I’m here to announce a brand new adventure this fall, on September 13 (it’ll be a Tuesday, guys). It used to be an Xbox Arcade game, but it do-si-doed onto a full retailer. Twisted Pixel (the studio behind the ‘Splosion Man duo) brought us the ultimate spaghetti Western journey. Become the true western puppeteer in…

You thought the Western subgenre of action-adventure had crippled since Fatshark’s Lead and Gold last year. You’re wrong, partner! Twisted Pixel took a break from its action-platforming comic world and decided to put on the ol’ cowboy hat. The game is set as an Old Western play. So the third-person shooter is played like it was acted out in a theater. (The sets are 2D pieces of wood, the zombie cowboy himself is just a puppet!) The beginning footage is actually live-action when people attend to see the play (shot at an Austin, TX theater). You play as the Gunstringer, an undead one-eyed marionette betrayed by his posse, and as he rises from his grave, he plans an unholy vengeance. (Dead-Eye Plankton all over again…) So you’re playing as a zombie cowboy…how convenient.

The day when your finger guns paid off.

The rating has been confirmed as T for Teen for blood, cartoon violence, drug reference, and sexual themes. (Kind of like western Sims.) So, you wanna know how the game works?

Left hand – Controls the Gunstringer’s movement.

Right hand – Aiming and firing the Gunstringer’s gun.

Left and right hands – During rail shooter moments of the game, they can both be used to handle two guns at once.

There’s also the element of marking multiple villains to fire, and all marked villains are shot with that handy gesture. This game will also come with codes to download the first DLC (Wavy Tube Man Chronicles), and Fruit Ninja Kinect.

HOW THE GAME MIGHT RULE

It’s like Rango died, came back from the grave, and embarked on another Western adventure. Maybe the whole mechanic will run swimmingly, and it will all result in a great spaghetti Western adventure. It looks good just by looking at the cover.

HOW IT MIGHT NOT

Question: Why would you ever make a motion-sensor shooter? It sounds a little weird. And the controls might completely wonk out and the game could have crumbled like the Pentagon during 9/11. Just saying…

CRITICS CALL

The reviews have been mostly positive with critics’ first hands-on perspectives of the game.

—————

I would consider buying this game if it’s that good of a romp. But dust off your finger guns and prepare for unholy battle in The Gunstringer, lassoing retailers everywhere this September. Check out this trailer to know the game a bit more!

So long, partner. We’ll do-si-do again on Sammwak, because the old saying goes: “If you get thrown from a horse, you have to get up and get back on, unless you landed on a cactus; then you have to roll around and scream in pain.”

Your cowboy,

Sam



Hey guys it’s Sam, and sorry about the long hiatus. Luckily, I have a new treat within a new segment for video games, called Pwn Some Noobs (or, for stylization, PWN SOM3 N00B$!), as a substitute for Gamecritic. You know there are a lot of Game Critics around Google? Today, we’ll take a deep look at one game that you can’t not know. It was the first game for the Xbox 360′s Kinect, back in November 2010. Unveiled at the 2010 E3,  today’s token is the adventurous Kinect Adventures. It’s not the Kinect’s instant killer app, but is it worth the hassle? Let’s find out.

Revving it up in Rallyball!

Kinect Adventures was the Microsoft Studios-Good Science team’s treat for a good kickoff for a new contraption. It was actually featured with every Kinect bought, a “pack-in game”, you might call it. There’s only five mini games, but lots of modes to choose from. Players could take it easy with Free Play, or they could fight for rewards in Adventure Mode, winning achievements and completing journeys. I didn’t had much interest of this game at first, but then I jumped into Adventure Mode. My eyes were opened, and it is now one of my most-played X360 games. The environments are vivid and breathtaking, the sensor does a jolly good job of motion tracking, and the rewards are definitely enough bangs for your buck. Oh, and don’t forget that sleek interface. And don’t get me wrong, it got fairly positive critical feedback. There’s even a solid storyline to keep everything afloat. And it sold a mind-blowing 10 million copies with the Kinect, which ranks as the second-highest sale, behind Call of Duty: Black Ops. Here are the parts where it got a little bumpy.

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- Even at Advanced, excluding time challenges, Adventure Mode is super easy. Not only does it hand successes to you like it’s nobody’s business, but you also have lots of living statues to record.

- Gaming is repetitive with only five mini games: River Rush, where you use your motion to steer down river rapids, Reflex Ridge, where you jump, duck, and dodge your way through an obstacle course, Space Pop, where you use flight and hovering to pop bubbles, 20,000 Leaks, where you use your body to fix leaks started by fish, and Rallyball, where you scramble about sending balls flying into blocks and targets.. Even if they take place at different destinations, it’s still the same thing over and over again.

- Show Off & Share photos bear cheesy, embarrassing captions, like “Superhero Moment”, “Oo! Oo! Call On Me!”, and “Surf the Floor”.

-  Space Pop is punishingly hard if you don’t read the directions. Take it from me, as I was absolutely clueless upon what to do. Despite the fact that I ended up collecting 196 pins…go figure.

- The game has an annoying way of telling you you’re in the wrong place. In the top left corner, a huge pop-up will pop up and indicate where you are in your space! Not only is that annoying, but it’s super annoying!

- Games get real old, real fast. Even critics will tell you the exact same thing.

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CRITICS CALL

The game walked away with lots of sixes and sevens, and churning out only one eight. GameSpot gave the game a 7.0, saying: “This motion-based minigame collection is inconsistent, but it gives you a good excuse to start leaping and scrambling around with your new Kinect.” The game got a critic score of 6.6, while users bumped up their own score to a 7.3. Metacritic coughed up a 61 out of 100 for Kinect Adventures, and 1UP.com with a B at 80/100. G4′s X-Play gave the game 4 out of 5 stars overall.

FINALE

Kinect Adventures rallies up a 7 out of 10, a 7.0 out of 10, and a 72 out of 100. If you get the Kinect, please get some other game, because this game gets old and won’t have the interest rate to last you more than 2 hours. Capiche? Oh, and you know what else doesn’t have the interest rate to last you more than 2 hours? Today’s question, which comes from a user named FickDBanana…Fick again? Anyways, he said: “If you could start your own cereal business, what would you name your first cereal?” You heard the bananabrain! What would you name your own cereal?…This should be good. Leave your creative answers in my comment section, or via email.

This is Sam on Sammwak, and see you next Friday where we get to, again, PWN SOM3 N00B$!

Yours truly,

Sam



Hey it’s Sam, and I sincerely apologize for my absence from Sammwak. I had to go on a trip, and now I’m in Peoria, IL as I speak! Today we’re taking a look at another “superior” Sonic game. I experienced the demo of this game first (which absolutely rocked!), then the full game. Today, our subject is 2008′s action platformer, Sonic Unleashed. (What, I cannot do online and video games in one segment?)

In just a handful of words to describe Unleashed: A total waste of twenty bucks. Yes, it was that bad. The demo took me as far as the ground. The actual game didn’t do that. It dragged me through excruciatingly punishing difficulties, pestiferous characters, and repeated controls. I really didn’t enjoy the game, and I haven’t even finished the game to date. See what I mean? It’s just too hard. Oh, I need to tell you about the plot.

Well, it starts when Eggman shoots the world with an enormous ray gun. Predictably, Earth breaks apart, but with a side effect: at night, when the moon is out and full, Sonic transforms into his grotesque beastly form…Sonic the Werehog! Dealing with adventures day and night, Sonic has to restore the world to normal after Eggman’s mass destruction.

Every one of Sega’s releases starring that supersonic blue hedgehog carry the hope of picking up the pace that made Sonic a star in the 90s. And every destined venture through Sega’s front door has ended in various degrees of tripping out the back. 2006′s Sonic the Hedgehog met unanimously negative reviews, and Sonic Heroes had some negative points critics had to point out. But Unleashed stooped up to brand new roots of failure. Not only did I feel like the game droned on and on, but it lacked what every platformer had to have: fun. That’s unforgivable! And these slews of infinite problems are caught by an achy shaky camera. All of these mean there is basically no point in playing Unleashed.

Even Sonic himself is disappointed by the failure of his own game.

The werehog levels were definitely unfinished. And they took longer than the classic, and enjoyable, sprint-to-the-finish races. You couldn’t toggle day and night like The Sims 3 let you. And you might have the vigorous ability to send enemies flying with a flaming punch from your stretchy arm, but it didn’t feel that cool, and besides; you’d have to keep doing that for the whole night. Sure you’ll go places, but only in the method of mindlessly mashing the attack button until they explode into rings and whatnot. And the enemies either lack some good AI, or are menacingly challenging. They stand around until you feel like putting the hurt on them. Sock them until they explode. The most common factor for defeating tiny enemies, and one that will never evolve.

Sonic in his werehog form.

In the pictured form, and as I told you, you earn stretchable arms and the ability to grab onto ledges. It’s an essential thing to have when wandering in these stages. And the camera can get restricted when a line of sight is necessary. And since the punishing is so quick, these can rid you life after life in bouts of frustration.

And there are also townsfolk standing around that you can talk to; just be prepared for the boring, bitter aftertaste. I really did not like one bit of the game except for its truthfully proficient graphics. :D So let’s scroll down the list of what Unleashed was taken back by:

  • Repetitive, iterative combat that gets super old, super fast.
  • It’s impossible to talk to townsfolk without getting pestered or bored.
  • Punishing difficulty, which makes the game impossible to beat. What did we do?
  • A lousy camera restricts a good view when you need it.
  • Nighttime levels will take forever to get through.
  • The designs for levels are hideous, especially at night.

And let’s take a look at some of the tarnishing demerits Unleashed got for its trouble!

Annoying Characters - Maybe it’s a lazy facial expression or two. Maybe it’s that pestering voice you have to hear every time. But this demerit only goes out to games worthy of characters who really put the “pest” in “pestiferous.”

Bad Controls - It can differ to overly hard control to overly unresponsive abilities, but something in that controller/joystick/whatever is so jacked up, that you just might want to say, “Controller/joystick/whatever, meet wall!”

Shallow - Some games make up the “negative extreme”, and others reach new lows of that negative extreme. When it just varies to mashing the same thing for a couple minutes, or having to repeat every action from start to finish, you might be playing a Shallow game.

Poor Camera – One of the aggravating things games can do is obscure the way it catches the footage of the game, lacking the ability to show a good view of what’s going on, let alone keep up with any necessary action. Games like this “win” our “award.”

Difficultly Punishing - Sure the ideal boss fight, like Mario vs. Bowser, can put up a good fight. But when games push it too far, you end up making a fool out of yourself. This game would’ve been more appealing if it reduced the Haterade and punishing difficulty.

Disappointing - The ordinary mediocre game can be shaken off in a matter of time. But when games really don’t live up to the potential markets, gamers, and retailers alike, they earn this demerit for their trouble.

Unworthy Value - Expensive games that aren’t worth the huge price, as well as the short and repetitive, come short in the value column. There are more efficient ways to spend your precious cash, but we don’t say the game stinks.

This was something I played in the demo that got me HOOKED. Guess it wasn't worth it!

I guess the final verdict for Sonic Unleashed is a “terrible” 3 out of 10. Worse than Super Smash Flash 2, literally the worst crossover a man can play! I would’ve felt like getting a refund, but, unfortunately, Video Hits Plus went out of business. >:( “Although it runs aground on sleek visuals, Sonic Unleashed is an awful adventure with a poor camera, dreadful controls, pestiferous characters, the list goes on.” This game was supposed to revive all of the negative downfalls Sega suffered, but it’s just become a member of the heap.

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Check back for more Gamecritical posts, as well as the other humor that hooked the hemisphere of WordPress, right here on Sammwak! ;)

p.s. This post is sponsored by Sprintz Sports Gum. When you need to go for the gold when it comes to speed, pick Sprintz. Sprintz Sports Gum, now with 10% less liver damage…and the sweet smell of lemons!



Hey, guys. Do you know how to dance? (Comment yes or no) Clubs are a way to dance. Talent shows are a way to dance. Even just getting up and moving your body is a way to dance! The usual top dance video game series was Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) since March 1999. But in late November 2010, DDR will have to step aside for the new face in lean, mean dancing.

Dance Central is the not-too-recent crazy epic dance boogaloo, the second Xbox 360 game requiring the Kinect peripheral behind the pack-in game Kinect Adventures. This game is a practically genius way to learn styling new moves to blow away friends and family, such as the classy Broadway, the hip Reject, and, of, course the Crank Dat!

The player(s) are given dance moves which are tracked by the Kinect sensor and represented on-screen by one of eight in-game dancers. 650 dance moves are featured, spanning over 90 dance routines from true choreographers. Five modes are available:

Break It Down – The beginner’s mode that allows players to learn dance moves in certain songs in a step-by-step process.

Perform It – The single-player’s gameplay mode, in which the objective is to successfully pull off a dance routine in hopes of garnering a high score.

Workout Mode – Like DDR, Dance Central also has a matter for exercise! This mode is an extension of Perform It in which the number of burnt calories is also tracked, along with the time of the workout itself.

Dance Battle – The multiplayer mode, in which two players duke it out in a head-to-head dance routine battle. In the end, the player garnering the higher score wins dance supremacy. But the rarity is that ties can also occur; in THOSE sequences, the player pulling off more moves wins supremacy.

Challenge Mode – Once four songs in each category have at least 4 stars, a challenge based on that difficulty is unlocked. This mode increases the difficulty of the game. How? By blending all 4 songs into one, dance moves and all. All challenges must be 5-starred to do the final challenge.

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The eight main dancers are Angel (pronounced on-hel), Miss Aubrey, Emilia, Dare, MacCoy, Mo, Oblio, and Taye. Also, the Pink Ninja (:/) is an unlockable dancer that is really just Oblio. Nice Halloween costume, dude…

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What I liked about this game was its exuberant and exhilarating way of dancing. The dance moves are quite easy to learn, although more intense moves do get frustrating. Also, another unforgettable addition: charisma. The dancers’ charisma. A laugh, a smile, whatever these guys throw at you make you feel good to dance with them.

The only thing that is a con is GIRL SONGS. Inappropriate, embarrassing GIRL SONGS. Featuring inappropriate, embarrassing GIRL MOVES. (:P) For instance, take Lady Gaga or even Rihanna. We are not girlie men; we are DISAPPOINT!

Here is also the intro to the game, featuring the actual dancers from the game (Like if you can find em all!):

I give Dance Central a 9 out of 10. Your opinion (search up on YouTube)?

Oh, well. Later gators.

- Sam

p.s. There’s this one YouTuber named MightyMeCreative that can dance songs on HARD and still ace them 100%! But you have to see it to believe it! To find MMC’s channel, click HERE!



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